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Newsletter Vol. # 41 That's how I see it!

Hello and welcome to this week's newsletter.

What you will find in this weeks newsletter: a rather lengthy article on Stress Management; Robert Rodale, editor of Prevention magazine talks about Wellness; a surprising reason why crime in Canada is falling; short quotes, humour and a very interesting Reader Response.

Last newsletter for a month-Going on holidays to visit our son and relatives on the Cayman Island. I hope the snow melts quickly, the golf courses open up, you can wash your car without fear of being responsible for a snowstorm, and the parka can be put away in favour of the spring rain jacket. Let the spring arrive!

Stress Management

There is a belief that if I do my job correctly, if I have good stress management skills, good time management skills, if I pay attention to healthy and health related kinds of activities, if I decrease my caffeine, increase my workouts, then I will be okay, then I will be stress free. Not true! Just try to ask James Fixx, author and marathoner who died of a heart attack while running.

If you alleviate all your stress, you alleviate your happiness. If you alleviate happiness, then you alleviate your chance for success. Stress is not bad; it is a reaction to an experience. It is the distress we are trying to decrease. What we actually want to do is to learn to be functionally stressed rather than not stressed at all.

According to recent research, it is the hassles in your life not the crises that produce the majority of stress. Some hassles might be taking your car to a mechanic for the third time, getting a flat tire and not having a spare, forgetting your wallet, locking your keys in the car, losing your glasses only to discover them on top of your head. Hassles tend to be a problem however; hassles are less distressful than a major crisis.

It is true that these little hassles don't garner up much support from our support groups. The system really helps us get over the pain of major crises but if you lose your wallet nobody much cares and the fact that you have to deal with it over the lunch hour and it is an imposition on you and a lot of hassle on you, doesn't seem to count. You need to look at the hassles in your life and not just the major crises when you are dealing with stress. Really, it is the hassles that seem to get to us.

Even when we do everything right- eat right, exercise, take up new hobbies, become more assertive and network more often- we still don't feel good about who we are if our self esteem is low. When your self-esteem is low your stress management techniques are probably different than when your self-esteem is high. Stress management techniques don't seem to work all that well when our self-esteem is low. However, if you employ the same stress management techniques when your self-esteem is high, it is amazing how well they work.

Stress is really a balancing act. Try this: lift your right foot off the floor- how long could you sit or stand this way before you get tired and before someone comes along and gives you a little nudge and you fall flat on your face? Being off-balance isn't totally bad (it's not particularly good either but it happens, it's life) and you have to learn some ways to deal with being off-balance.

I would like to introduce the concepts of horizontal and vertical illness. Horizontal illness is when you are laid out flat, bedridden, for instance after a heart attack when you are very ill. This is a very powerful attention getter and when you become horizontally ill you certainly become more aware of what is around you and the kind of lifestyle you are leading. This is why a lot of people after a stroke or heart attack or some serious illness or disease or accident, start to make re-decisions about their lives (they stop smoking, they stop drinking, change their eating habits). This behaviour, which is a reaction to the illness, is often very stress producing in itself.

Most of us are not horizontally ill, we are vertically ill. Vertical illness is a real problem because you cannot see it. We are still on our feet and so we continue doing and supporting habits that are harmful to us in the long run. Vertical illness is a serious problem because people would much rather that the doctor find something physically wrong with them - they want the medical person to take responsibility for diagnosing and prescribing medications- rather than the individual deal with the stress of that issue and then have to take personal responsibility for doing something about it their own health. Unfortunately, vertical illness does not force us to have to do something about the issue. There is no need for us to get conscious quite yet. You can continue to stay unconscious and do what ever you want. Of course, it is only a matter of time before the vertical illness becomes a horizontal illness.

Statistically, 50% of the people who are first-time heart attack victims share one symptom in common and that is sudden death. That means we go from not feeling anything to dying. That is why we need to become more conscious, more aware. Your body is talking to you, your lifestyle is talking to you and if you choose to remain unconscious....

There are three levels in dealing with stress management. When your self-esteem is low were talking about surviving stress, and when your self-esteem gets higher, we are talking about coping with stress, and when your self-esteem is really high, we are looking at the possibility of changing the stress.

In concluding this article I would like to go over a few of the concepts again. I have used the word consciousness several times and hopefully you will hear how important it is to be consistently diligent of ones health. When your stress level gets to the point where you have to lower it, that is, become more conscious or else, you might consider the following: -- rating the foods you eat, exercising more, paying attention to how other people deal with their stresses and consider increasing your support to them. One of the advantages of going to a gymnasium is that once you walk into the facility, you have a very powerful support group. Support becomes a real key here. Another kind of support is that provided by intimacy.

If you want closeness (intimacy) you also need to create space for yourself. Most of us have not learned how to constructively incorporate space into our lives, so what we do is we invent an argument to justify our making some space. It is the same as work, which could also be a form of intimacy, it also necessitates space. So Space - making time for a balanced life - is one of the best stress busters if done consistently. And remember changes are best worked on when one's self-esteem is high not when one is in crisis.

A strong positive mental attitude will create more miracles than any wonder drug.
                                                                                                 Patricia Neal


Down under: Claude Benoit, CEO for the Old Port of Montreal, billed taxpayers $10,100 for a 29-day trip she took with a friend to Australia and New Zealand, claiming she was working for part of the trip. In 2012 the federal government asked the auditor general to probe Benoit's spending after a series of unusual bills, including $7,100 for trips to Sweden and Florida and $35,000 for catered meals to the port offices.

Vacant splendour: Alberta spent nearly $114,000 on more than a dozen unoccupied rooms at a five-star hotel in Lon- don during the Summer Olympic Games. The province had planned to send 47 people to London to promote Alberta tourism, but scaled back, leaving the rooms at the $850-a-night Le Meridien Piccadilly empty.

Working holiday: Councillors in Central Saanich, B.C., didn't think to check on their colleague Terry Siklenka after giving him a six-month paid leave of absence worth $6,000. If they had, they would have learned he was still hard at work-having taken a job on the side in the Cayman Islands. Only after a media uproar ensued was Siklenka forced to resign.

Robert Rodale, editor of Prevention magazine states:

I have been writing to you in the pages of Prevention for almost 40 years about how to be healthy. During that time, the best research in the world on health and fitness has passed through my hands. And one thing has become increasingly clear to me. To be truly healthy and vitally alive you need to do more than just eat right, exercise and consult with your physician.

You also need something that transcends the physical. You need a healthy spirit- a health-promoting, life-affirming attitude. Your spirit points the way toward true happiness. And that can be just as important to your health as a low-fat diet, a regular workout or a medical checkup.

Now, here's the best news, a healthy spirit comes from fun things- getting together with friends and family, taking walks, enjoying good music and conversation, helping others feel good, and enjoying your work. When you feel good, people can see it in the way you walk, your smile, in your eyes, in the way you do your job. And when you are feeling good, other people gravitate toward you, and everything you do seems to succeed almost effortlessly.

I realize it's hard to feel good all the time. Through my work with regeneration, I discovered that, as in nature, disturbances in people's lives are inevitable and sometimes even necessary. And if you're open to new ideas, that disturbance can end up changing your life for the better. I've found that people have an enormous capacity to regenerate their lives.

I sold my house this week, reports comedian Gary Shandling. I got a pretty good price for it, but it made my landlord mad as hell.


I'm locked in a major custody battle, a man confided to his friend. My wife doesn't want me, and my mother won't take me back.

Crime In Canada is in Fast-fall Mode-But Why?

Canada is fast becoming a safer place, largely because huge numbers of those aged 18 to 24, the group most responsible for the largest share of crimes in the country, were staying out of trouble.

What's behind this phenomenon drop crime not only Canada but in all of North America, Europe, Australia and other developing countries? Theories include better security from improved locks, close-circuit television, home alarm systems and more police on the streets.

There is another theory about why crime is dropping and that has to do with videogames.

According to the Entertainment Software Association of Canada, nearly two-thirds of adults aged 18 to 34 play video games, while among children and teens, that figure reaches 18 per cent. This overwhelming preoccupation with video gaming and other electronic technologies may be keeping kids and young adults off the streets and out of trouble.

The rapid explosion of technology has brought with it a litany of problems -obesity, dwindling attention spans, fatal accidents caused by texting, Internet addiction breaking up families, cyber bullying, an epidemic of smartphone thefts (interestingly the camera on these phones has served as a deterrent to crime). The fact is that our young people are practicing technology instead of honing their criminal skills and thus a drop in the crime statistics.

Who would have thunk it?

Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being, and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.
                                                                  World Health Organization

Two friends were discussing the strength of Wall Street:
     Why would the stock market fall? asked the first. This economy has created so many jobs.
     Yeah, I know, replied the second man. I have three of them.

Reader Response

Wasn't that some kind of budget for Canada? There is a mathematical thought on this type of economics. In the budgeted 675 millions more was given, on top of the other millions, to CBC (the Trudeau Media). Remember the Movie ' Wag The Dog ' with the representation of Spin Doctors. The existential situation. The price of freedom and its perception. The tintinnabulation [is that a word, it came up looking for a word, interesting blip maybe?] of the authority of the gov't party members of the Liberals Ideology and the free travelling trips provide for you by Mary Jane, for the maximum pleasure of bubble-wrapped pain, with the taxes to come year after sunny year, after the sunny ways and the likely impossible dreams. After all that's said and done, within our countries' budget, our existential freedom is a lot better than most of the other countries in the world. Wrap me in my Canadian flag forever!                                Harriet 

Remember I am off on holidays so you'll hear from me in about a month. That should give you time to form an opinion on a great many things and when you do, drop me an email. danrosin@drcounselling